Job well done .. Celebrating a successful project are (from left) Family Works volunteer Peter Dixon, Family Works manager Liz Nolan, Timaru MenzShed members John Cook, Mike King and Russ Prien, and Family Works volunteer Merle Madden. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Claire Allison

The planets have aligned to supply a Timaru foodbank with sturdy new shelving.

In a combined effort involving Presbyterian Support’s Family Works foodbank volunteers, Timaru MenzShed and the Timaru Host Lions Club, shelving was removed from the Army Hall in Barnard St prior to its demolition.

Timaru MenzShed secretary John Cook said MenzShed had been asked by the Lions Club to build new shelving for the foodbank, with the club planning to pay for the materials needed.

“Just by sheer coincidence, less than a week after we were asked to to that, one of the guys in the shed had a connection with the Army Hall, and he said while there wasn’t a lot left in there, we might find something useful.

“So two or three of us went along, and there was a room full of perfectly usable wooden shelving.”

Mr Cook said it was a bit of a palaver getting the shelving out intact, and modifying it to fit the space required, but within a fortnight, it was installed in the foodbank and loaded with goods.

“It was a nice opportunity for us to do something for the community, and recycling stuff that would have otherwise been demolished.

“I’d say that shelving will still be standing in 25 years.”

Foodbank volunteer Peter Dixon said the foodbank had been operating from the garage and staff kitchen area at Family Works, and as demand had been increasing, about six months ago he had begun looking at options to improve the set-up.

The kitchen cupboards were full, and food items remained unpacked in boxes on the floor.

“The foodbank had just grown from nothing, so they were never really set up for it.”

As items were now shelved, it was easier for staff to find what was needed to make up a food parcel, Mr Dixon said.

“The feedback that I have had from staff is that it is so much easier shelves and everything is on display instead of in boxes.

“It’s saving them a lot of time that they can now spend with their clients.”